How I managed in following my research plan:
My research at the University of Tokyo was quite ambitious and was on trying a new microfluidic concept to culture tumor cells in 3D. Since my project in Japan was not an extension on an already existing project, there was a startup phase which took some time. That in combination with a new environment, new lab and new routines put me slightly behind my initial goals but I was overall happy with what I was able to achieve.
Accomplishments and experiences I would never have gotten unless I joined the Summer Program:
The JSPS Summer Program gave me experiences on both a professional and cultural level that would have been hard to encounter otherwise. It was really rewarding to work in a new lab where I got new ideas and established a valuable network in Japan. The JSPS Summer Program also provided me with new cultural experiences, even though I have visited Japan several times. In particular, the home stay during the first week was incredible.
How I can make use of this experience in my future research:
My visit in Japan provided me mainly with two things; an extended network which will be of great benefit in the future and in my career, and the new ideas that I got from spending time in a new lab environment.
Message for future participants:
I would recommend anyone interested in spending time in a new lab environment to apply for the JSPS Summer Program. The program is very well planned and gives you the opportunity to meet new people and learn new techniques not available in your home lab.
Name: Karl Olofsson Title: PhD student Institution: KTH Royal Institute of Technology Host Institution in Japan: University of Tokyo